A beautiful canvas mural of Austin County now hangs in the newly constructed Austin County Justice Center thanks to the hard work and dedication of many volunteers who gave of their time to bring this masterpiece to life! This Artwork is a 7 ft x 7 ft Canvas of Austin County with images of the different areas of the county both past and present. It currently hangs in the secure location of the center by the courtrooms so, you will have to pass through security to view it.
The idea began with Judge Leedy and Alberta Kaufman discussing the idea of a mural being painted in the new building and what it would take to make something like that happen. However, they were afraid of the amount of people necessary to bring something like that into existence and the fact that few would be willing to spend the hours on a ladder that a project of this scope would involve. So, the idea of the canvas was born.
The canvas was hosted in Ollie Shiller’s garage. The garage was semi-climate controlled which made painting in the summer months exceedingly challenging. It was rigged up on a system of pulleys which allowed the canvas to be raised and lowered allowing the artists the ability to reach the section they needed to work on without having to stand on a ladder for the hours something like this would normally entail. From the very first concept to total completion of the canvass totaled roughly 16 months. There was lots of coordination constantly happening for painting the different sections of the canvas because you couldn’t have the canvas lowered for one artist to work on their upper section while another artist was available and needed to apply their talent on a lower section.
The amount of time that was put in on this project was too great to calculate but, the oldest person to work on the canvas was 86 years old and the youngest were art students from Bellville High School. The students are part of the National Art Honor Society, and they spent time over the summer volunteering to help paint the Bellville section of the mural. The list of Contributors whose talents and services went into the creation of the artwork are below:
Artists: Ollie Schiller-Alberta Kaufman-Darcie Grimes-Tina Szajko-Kathleen Bernard-Annette Hajdik Smith-Tammy Plumer-John Allee- Marilyn Walker-Jean Norris-Kay Ribaldo- llene Schmitt-Sandy Rhodes
Bellville High School Students: Lina Garcia-Leah Kutch-Josh Rodriguez-Austin Hulsey
Canvas Stretcher Construction: Robert Wink-Clay Teeters-Gary Kaufman
Stencils: Patricia Wittenberg Walters/Wittenberg Press
Transportation to Justice Center: Theresa Stanger/Bellville Rent-All
Air Conditioning: Jerry Ordner
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